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This entry shows a B6.0 flare that occured in NOAA active region 11850 on September 23rd at around 7 UT. Note the dark, wishbone-shaped structure that develops prior to the event. This minor flare was one of the larger events in the surrounding weeks, which is surprising considering that we are right at the maximum phase of the current solar cycle. In fact, this has been the most paltry maximum since the dawn of the Space Age. The strength of a given cycle has to do with the dynamo that generates the Sun's magnetic field, but not too much more than that is known. It's a difficult problem to tackle because very reliable data is limited to just the last four cycles and one only gets a few cycles per career.
Keywords: Flare, Solar Cycle